Huawei P40 Review

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

You might suppose that the P30 pro sits at the highest of Huawei’s recent smartphone output, however there’s another smartphone that takes the high-priced crown. The chunkiness named Huawei P40 pro and has finally released within the United Kingdom and it will cost around £1,300. On paper, at least, it doesn’t much a lot of is new: it still uses a 5G-enabled Kirin 990 chipset, 8GB of RAM also as an alternative of up to 512GB of storage. It conjointly doesn’t have access to the Google Play store, a lot of to my continued chagrin.

The biggest difference is within the rear camera arrangement. the large 50MP Ensor remains, however now around it's complemented by Associate in Nursing 8MP 10x photo zoom detector, that zooms double as way because the Huawei 40 Pro. There’s a second 3x photo camera, a 40MP Wide lens unit and a ToF detector.

Is the P40 pro worth the extra £400? You will try to figure it below.

Huawei’s troubled relationship with the U.S. government shows no signs of improving anytime soon. Its latest line of smartphones, the Huawei P40 series, represent variety of firsts for the corporate, however since they’re launching while not Google’s core suite of Android apps.

What you wish to understand

So, the Huawei P40 Pro runs on Android, however it doesn’t come with Google’s Apps pre-installed. during this case, the foremost necessary question before probably buying one is whether or not or can live without Maps, Gmail, YouTube and Chrome.

Ultimately, that’s a call you’re progressing to have to be compelled to work yourself – if you employ those apps on a daily basis then you may wish to seem elsewhere. however, if you aren’t keen on Google’s apps, then you’re off to a good start: The Huawei P40 pro may be a tappingly comprehensive flagship.

It has a 6.58in edge-to-edge with a 90Hz refresh rate and a Leica-branded quad rear camera with up to 50x hybrid zoom. Huawei’s fastest processor, the Kirin 990, powers the phone, alongside 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage – which might be distended with one in every of Huawei’s Nano Memory cards. It also has IP68-rated for dust and water protection, has a 4,200mAh battery and supports the 5G.

Worth and competition:

Naturally, with hardware like that, Huawei’s latest Google-less flagship still prices a fairly penny. in contrast to Honor – that conjointly recently launched its initial phone while not Google apps – the P40 pro is priced way out of reach of most customers’ wallets. you'll be able to choose one up for £900 SIM-free, with contracts beginning at around £54/mth.

At such a high worth, the P40 Pro’s restricted computer code options, however the regular P40, that will cost you £200 less, is probably a bit additional forgiving (costing £700 SIM-free or £31/mth). The caveat, however, is that you simply have to be compelled to sacrifice the garment screen, quadruple-camera array, IP68-rated protection and a bunch of different options.

Where will the P40 pro pile up against its fully-supported automaton alternatives? Well, the recently-launched Samsung Galaxy S20 and prices £100 additional, thus there’s a small saving in this regard. Apple’s iOS various, the iPhone 11 Pro will cost you around £1,049.

What concerning the P40 pro Plus?

Of course, there’s the difficult alternative of whether or not to pay extra for the P40 pro. For an additional £400 (starting at £1,300), the P40 pro and is far an equivalent because the professional, though it's a replacement ceramic style end, further storage and a rather tweaked camera arrangement. This includes a colossal 10x optical zoom detector, that is that the biggest we’ve seen on any smartphone so far.

Predictably, captured snaps square measure nothing in need of exceptional. having the ability to zoom that way into the frame with none noticeable loss well is admittedly a sight to lay eyes on, though the sensible applications square measure a bit niche. It’s sensible for the avid birdwatcher, trains potter or craft enthusiast, however I can’t see several different uses for it. The question you have got to raise yourself is whether or not you would like to pay even additional on high of Associate in Nursing already costly purchase.

Huawei P40 Pro Design:

It’s not all concerning the OS, and that I figure it would be best to speak concerning everything else before I talk concerning the potential pitfalls of finding out a phone that solely runs the ASCII text file version of automaton. You won’t be stunned to listen to that the P40 pro is everything we’ve return to expect from Huawei up till this time – it’s the kind of phone that sits within the higher echelons of the flagship tier, and you'll be able to tell per se simply by watching it.

Surprised? You completely shouldn’t be. Huawei has usually done a splendid job with the design and feel of its premium-priced handsets, and also the P40 pro appearance as swish as ever with its diamond-cut edges, swish lines and munificently sized garment screen. The plain ‘Black’ and ‘Ice White’ colours square measure nice enough, however the multi-colour shimmering choices square measure genuinely heart-stopping. Our ‘Deep ocean Blue’ review model, above all, provides off a stunning oil-slick impact whenever the sunshine bounces off the rear panel.

Whichever colour you choose for, though, the remainder of the look is that the same. I do quite just like the rectangular camera unit on the rear – compression in a very total of 4 cameras – that blends nicely into the remainder of the telephone set with its ramped sides. Huawei says this impact is meant to seem just like the profile of a volcano, and I’m inclined to agree.

Huawei P40 pro Display

Next up is that the P40 Pro’s new ‘Overflow’ show. Huawei calls this a “quad-curve” style, as a result of the vi.58in screen not solely wraps round the sides of the phone, however conjointly the highest and bottom. The curvature isn’t quite as dramatic because the Mate 30 Pro’s 88-degrees and that I don’t see there being any tangible edges once it involves usability, however it’s a pleasing style call still.

One word of caution before we tend to continue, however. Huawei’s promoting pictures recommend that the screen utterly fills the front of the phone – apart from the left-mounted hole-punch cameras – however that isn’t very the case once you see it in the flesh.

You’ll directly notice the four chunky corner bezels once you pull the phone out of the box. Likewise, whenever I launched the on-screen keyboard, the perimeters were stop. It’s price bearing in mind that this is often running early computer code, however, thus I expect these kinks to be smooth out before unleash.

This Huawei’s initial smartphone with a high refresh rate screen. Like last year’s OnePlus 7T, the P40 pro is fitted with a 90Hz show, with Associate in Nursing uncommon long-tall resolution of two,640 x 1,200. quicker refresh screens have started trickling in across the business in recent months – I wouldn’t be stunned if this year’s iPhone has one – and also the P40 Pro’s OLED panel is Associate in Nursing absolute joy to swipe, faucet and scroll on.

As for colour performance, the P40 pro provides you 2 modes to settle on from: traditional and Vivid. In traditional mode, you get an additional muted set and 96 of the sRGB colour area. Vivid mode is best fitted to looking at movies or TV and covers 84 of the DCI-P3 colour area.

It’s bright, too, with highlights peaking at around 569cd/m2 in auto-brightness mode. With HDR10+ support also, Netflix and Amazon Prime content look terrific, though it’s roughly a match for the iPhone 11Pro’s display within.

Performance and battery life

Naturally, the P40 pro is power-driven by Huawei’s fastest-ever mobile chipset, the Kirin 990. this can be a replacement eight-core chip that’s designed employing a 7nm fabrication method – that we tend to initial saw within the Huawei Mate 30 pro – with the cores split into 3 groups: 2 performance-based Cortex-A76 cores running at two.86GHz, an extra 2 mid-power cores running at 2.36GHz; and 4 Cortex-A55 based mostly cores running at 1.95GHz.

How do these numbers translate to real-world performance? Well, in testing, I found the Kirin 990 to be roughly 18 quicker in multi-core process in comparison with the previous generation Kirin 980 (which power-driven the P30 Pro). Huawei’s own app store would possibly so be restricted at the time of writing, however the P40 pro are ready to run something you throw at it while not breaking a sweat.

I was disturbed that the P40 Pro’s battery life would possibly suffer as a results of that 90Hz screen however within the finish that, too, clothed to be wonderful. At the phone’s native screen resolution with the high refresh setting switched on, the P40 pro lasted 21hrs 36mins before wanting to recharge. That’s pretty blame smart by any live, and a far better result than the P30 pro and Mate thirty professional – each of that had an everyday 60Hz screen.


Before we tend to discuss the haves and have-nots in terms of the package, it’s price paying shut attention to the important star feature: the quadruple Leica camera array. to start out with, the first camera could be a 50-megapixel (f/1.9) affair, that sits next to a 12-megapixel (f/3.4) 5x exposure optical lens. each area unit optically-stabilised and use the less usually used RYYB filter, commutation the inexperienced components of the filter with yellow.

Huawei calls this “Super Spectrum” imaging, and that we initial saw this shooting technique in last year’s P30 pro. in theory – in step with Huawei – pictures ought to look higher in low-light in comparison with photos captured employing a camera unit with Associate in Nursing RGB acetylsalicylic acid filter. the 2 cameras area unit accompanied by an additional 40-megapixel (f/1.8) optical lens and a ToF sensing element for simpler blurred background portraits.

Owners of last year’s Huawei P30 pro would possibly struggle to seek out the variations between the 2 phones within the camera department. apart from many changes in megapixel count and aperture, this can be just about the same arrangement to its forerunner, however that’s not essentially a foul issue.

Yet again, the image quality delivered by Huawei’s suite of cameras is elegant. The photos I’ve condemned the course of every week more or less – on my government-mandated daily walks – have typically been gouger and additional detail-packed than an equivalent pictures taken mistreatment each the Galaxy S20 and constituent four. Huawei has even managed to repair the aggressive automotive vehicle exposure, that has troubled Huawei’s handsets for as long as I will bear in mind.

In low-light conditions, the Huawei doesn’t take quite as massive of a success. To be clear, distinction is great and it did well at softening highlights, however typically, I a lot of most popular photos from the iPhone eleven. colours were additional realistic, and low-light pictures didn’t look quite as too heat as on the P40 pro. The portrait modes conjointly looked a small amount too sleek on the P40 pro for my feeling – I believe Huawei was still applying face-smoothing beauty effects, even once I dialled the setting all the way down to zero.

The good news is that Huawei has finally additional 4K recording at 60fps. like previous Huawei phones, each OIS and EIS area unit enabled by default in video for super-stable trying shots (Huawei calls this AIS) and also the footage appearance superb so. the sole issue I don’t like is that it’s demanding to change between zoom levels on the fly – there’s plenty of trial and error with the zoom slider whereas recording.

Life Without Google:

Finally, let’s bring up package, or lack therefrom in Huawei’s case. The Huawei P40 professional is mistreatment mechanical man ten as its base OS, however thanks to the United States trade ban on Huawei, and Google’s sequent restrictions on what corporations it will work with, this can be solely the ASCII text file version of the OS.

This means that Google’s first-party applications on the Play Store (the service isn’t available) like Maps and YouTube can’t be downloaded and aren’t preinstalled. As we tend to saw with last year’s Mate 30 pro – that is that the initial phone we tend to reviewed with this downside – there's some way you'll install these applications via unofficial sources, however this can be ultimately a really risky and confusing method for those who aren’t within the apprehend.

Huawei insists that this restriction won’t get within the manner. The App Gallery – Huawei’s version of the Play Store – has its own app alternatives finally. However, scroll through the list of apps that area unit accessible for transfer in Europe and it’s clear that this list is painfully lacking well-liked applications that area unit wide employed in western markets. TikTok is on there, however you actually won’t realize Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or kind.

Huawei conjointly says that you will simply use these apps within the phone’s applications programme, however anyone that’s ever used YouTube via this methodology is aware of that this can be a hellish expertise. So, that workaround is largely a write-off, too. you'll conjointly use Huawei’s ‘Phone Clone’ app after you initial discovered the phone, that transfers apps from your recent device to your new one, however it still doesn’t move everything – and a few of the transferred apps can fail to open.

I’ve been told that Huawei is functioning with app developers so as to repeat application launchers over to Huawei’s storefront; I wouldn’t expect this transfer method to be too long for your average developer after you contemplate that Huawei’s phones area unit still running an equivalent core OS. maybe the state of the App Gallery can have modified dramatically in twelve months’ time? United Nations agency is aware of.

Finally, the Verdict:

What I do apprehend is that purchasing the Huawei P40 pro could be an undertaking. Launching a high-priced flagship phone while not access to well-liked apps isn’t Associate in Nursing appealing move, and if the frosty reception to last year’s Mate 30 pro launch offers any indication, I’m troubled to envision any state of affairs wherever Huawei would possibly profit.

But after all, I stay entirely sympathetic. in an exceedingly international marketplace, it’s entirely unfair to single out a far off company and heavily impose restrictions on them. Huawei – and sub-brand Honor – area unit creating the most effective of a foul scenario, and that I applaud them each for his or her efforts.

Alas, sympathy isn’t an enormous enough reason to shop for a phone. I might wish to be optimistic – the Huawei P40 professional may o.k. get on my feet on its several deserves – however because it stands I can’t see several of those flying off the shelves, particularly as Huawei expects you to pay high greenback for one.